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The Underland Chronicles #1: Gregor the Overlander [Kindle Edition]

Suzanne Collins
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (867 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In the irresistible first novel by the author of The Hunger Games, a boy embarks on a dangerous quest in order to fulfill his destiny -- and find his father. New cover art coming July 1st!

In the first novel of the New York Times bestselling series by Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, young Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building and hurtles into the dark Underland. This strange world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.

Books In This Series (5 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    From School Library Journal

    Grade 4-8-In this accessible, almost-cinematic fantasy, Gregor and his two-year-old sister fall into an amazing underground world. Taken in by people who have lived beneath the earth for centuries, the 11-year-old learns about the giant-sized talking creatures that also reside there, including bats, cockroaches, and vicious rats. Gregor just wants to get home, but a prophecy hints that he may be the "overlander" destined to save the humans from the warlike rodents. He is reluctant until he learns that his father, who disappeared from their New York City home a few years before, is a prisoner of the rats. Gregor is not an eager hero, but with common sense, quick thinking, and determination he grows into the role. His sister, who provides some comic relief, also plays a key part because of her ability to befriend creatures, especially the giant cockroaches. Plot threads unwind smoothly, and the pace of the book is just right. Exciting scenes and cliff-hanger chapters are balanced by decisions and interactions that drive the action. Gregor is not the most compelling figure at first, but as the story progresses he becomes more interesting, maturing through the challenges he faces. Supporting characters are generally engaging, particularly the enigmatic warrior rat that claims to support the protagonist's mission. This is an engrossing adventure for fantasy fans and for those new to the genre.
    Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
    Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    From Booklist

    *Starred Review* Gr. 4-7. What if Alice fell down an air vent in a New York City apartment building instead of down a rabbit hole? Collins considers a similar possibility in her exceptional debut novel, a well-written, fast-moving, action-packed fantasy. Eleven-year-old Gregor expects a long, boring summer of baby-sitting his two-year-old sister, Boots, and his senile grandmother. Distracted with thoughts about his father, who disappeared three years ago, Gregor belatedly notices that Boots has crawled into an air vent in the laundry room. He dives in after her, and the two are sucked downward into the Underland, a fantastic subterranean world of translucent-skinned, violet-eyed humans, and giant talking cockroaches, bats, spiders, and rats. Eventually, the terrified Gregor is transformed into a warrior hero who leads a successful battle against an army of invading rats and discovers his father, who has long been held prisoner by the enemy. Collins creates a fascinating, vivid, highly original world and a superb story to go along with it, and Gregor is endearing as a caring, responsible big brother who rises triumphantly to every challenge. This is sure to be a solid hit with young fantasy fans. Ed Sullivan
    Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

    Product Details

    • File Size: 319 KB
    • Print Length: 330 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0439435366
    • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (September 1, 2010)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0041T52UY
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,025 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    185 of 189 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars For ANYONE who likes Collins' writing style April 10, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    First, let me say that I am nearly 25, and graduated college with a degree in English. Read the Hunger Games trilogy, and like many others, was left wanting more after the final book. Realized this was Collins' only other book series, so ignored the fact that it was more "for kids" than the HG series, and bought the first book for my kindle. I have honestly read all 5 in less than 2 weeks, finding myself once again drawn into a world of Collins' making, containing her noteworthy descriptions and numerous-yet-individual characters.

    Also, as she did in the HG series, I found Collins planting an underlying message in the Underland Chronicles-- this time, she questions whether war is always a "right vs wrong" situation-- and I thought this to be a positive contemplation for kids and adults alike. If you can look beyond the fact that the main character is 12 (much like you could look beyond Katniss' age in the HG books) then this is worth the couple of bucks to read!

    You will not be disappointed :)
    Was this review helpful to you?
    130 of 139 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars well-paced story that leaves you wanting more November 30, 2003
    In the sea of young adult fiction out there, Gregor the Overlander makes for one of the more pleasant anchorages. The book starts off quickly with Gregor and his two-year-old sister "Boots" falling through a gateway into the Underworld, a sprawling underground land populated by giant talking cockroaches, rats, bats, and spiders, along with several thousand pale humans descended from a 17th century "overlander" who led his small group into the Underworld then sealed the entrances. This descendant left a string of prophecies, including one which seems to point directly to Gregor as the one who may or may not save the humans in their ongoing war with the rats (as is often the case with prophecies, this one is somewhat lacking in clarity). Gregor has a more personal issue at stake; it turns out his father, who had disappeared a few years earlier, had also fallen through into the Underworld and has been held captive by the rats all this time as they seek to use his knowledge of science and engineering. Luckily, Gregor's desire to save his father dovetails with the prophecy and soon a band of rescuers is formed and the journey begun.
    Being a young adult novel, the story moves along swiftly, without a lot of detailed description of either setting or society, but if the world is only sketched out, it is done so fully enough so that the reader never feels at a loss and is done so interestingly enough that the reader often wants to learn much more than is revealed.
    The same holds true for many of the characters--Gregor, the young human princess and her cousin from the underworld, the grandfatherly diplomat who befriends and guides Gregor, even the bats who "bond" with their human riders.
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    61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Over and Under and Through! September 24, 2005
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    Let me start off by saying I didn't think I'd like this book all that much. I read the book flap description and thought `giant rats and bats? Another quest fantasy?'. But, being the bookworm I am, I decided to at least give it a chance. I'm glad I did. And yes, it is a quest fantasy, and yes there are giant rats and bats and cockroaches too. Surprisingly, it all made for a very enjoyable read.

    Gregor, our teenage hero is an ordinary boy fallen on hard times in New York City. His father vanished years ago and his mother works trying to make ends meet while he tries to take care of his siblings. All this changes when Gregor follows his baby sister, Boots, when she falls through a vent in their laundry room into an underground world with giant bugs and creatures. There are humans there too, and all of them seem to think that Gregor is the Overlander of one of their most powerful prophecies-the warrior who will unite them and bring them victory over the armies of the rats. Gregor is more interested in finding a way home, until he discovers that fulfilling the prophecy might also mean finding his father. But the prophecy is muddled and unclear-can Gregor survive the quest and make it home with his sister and father-or will it claim his life?

    The story presented here is fairly well tread ground, a reluctant hero from another realm, a quest that requires a gathering of several different creatures, a prophecy that is suitably ambiguous and a dangerous enemy to be overcome. What makes it work is that the author brings the characters to life in delightful ways; the roaches, rats, bats and spiders all have their own styles and customs.
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    50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A 10 Year Old Kid's Review - Most Awesome Book Ever! September 1, 2011
    My name is Luke, and I am in the 5th grade. I read a book named, Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins. It is an action-packed adventure story. Once you start reading, you can't put it down. I don't usually love to sit and read, but this book made me want to read for hours and hours!

    Gregor the Overlander is about a boy named Gregor, his little sister, Boots and his missing Dad. Gregor and Boots fall though a hole in the washing machine and they are taken to the Underland (a land miles under the ground). The people there think he is a great warrior that is supposed to save their land from six foot tall rats that want to destroy them. An ancient prophecy told them that an overlander (someone who lives above ground) would come and help them. Gregor does not think he is the warrior but goes on the quest hoping to find his father.

    I liked this book because it is exciting. There is a lot of suspense and action. You never can tell what will happen next. Gregor the Overlander is also a very imaginative story. It is full of animals that are many times their regular size like 5 foot long ants, 3 feet tall spiders and human-sized roaches!

    Gregor the Overlander is a really inspiring book too. Gregor looks after his little sister like a hawk. He was willing to die for her. When I read this book I felt like I should take better care of my brothers. Gregor was also really nice and helpful to creatures that other people looked down on. It reminded me to treat others the way I want to be treated, not like other people treat them.

    I think kids who like animals and are creative will love this book. Also, if you like adventure, suspense and action this is the book for you!

    I loved this book and can't wait to read the rest in the series!
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars The underland chronicles #1 Gregor the overlander review
    I loved this book. Everything about it was amazing and there is nothing wrong with it. It is one of the best books I've read
    Published 42 minutes ago by Kindle Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great, as expected!
    Published 8 days ago by Ann Marsh
    5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!!!
    This book is well written and leaves you wanting more!!! It's a "never wanna put it down" sort of book.
    Published 11 days ago by Lauren
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great story full of adventure. One you don't want to put down.
    For any with younger readers, be aware there is death involved with battle/war in the underland. Some readers are more sensitive than others, so it is nice to know these things... Read more
    Published 14 days ago by J. Smith
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wow great
    Read this book with my fifth graders. They loved every word. We can't wait to read book two. Loved it.
    Published 18 days ago by lynnetta sides
    5.0 out of 5 stars Gregor's Leap
    When most people hear the name Suzanne Collins, they tend to think of the sobering futuristic country of Panem in which a sixteen-year-old girl called Katniss Everdeen must fight... Read more
    Published 19 days ago by M. Lee
    4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read
    While many I am much older than a youth, I enjoyed this fanciful tale. The character were well developed and Boots was my favorite. The author has been around 2 year olds😀. Read more
    Published 27 days ago by vpiltk
    3.0 out of 5 stars Sofia @ Platypire Reviews
    This was an interesting read but I don't think I'll continue with the series. To be honest I was kinda grossed out with the rats, roaches and rats which is the whole story. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Sofia
    5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
    Good fast read!
    Published 1 month ago by Heather Jackson
    5.0 out of 5 stars My 10 year old loved the first book so much
    My 10 year old loved the first book so much. He wants to read the entire series. He's on book number three.
    Published 2 months ago by A. McLeod
    Search Customer Reviews

    More About the Author

    Suzanne Collins has had a successful and prolific career writing for children's television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains It All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Collins made her mark in children's literature with the New York Times bestselling five-book series for middle-grade readers The Underland Chronicles, which has received numerous accolades in both the United States and abroad. In the award-winning The Hunger Games trilogy, Collins continues to explore the effects of war and violence on those coming of age. Collins lives with her family in Connecticut.

    Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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    #8 in Books > Teens
    #8 in Books > Teens

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    Topic From this Discussion
    Other series like this?
    Try the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan or The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley. Both involve magic, mystery and other worlds.
    Apr 8, 2009 by Cynthia Laino |  See all 2 posts
    I loved The Hunger Games - any suggestions for what to start next?...
    Suzanne Collins' other series, The Underland Chronicles, (first book is Gregor the Overlander) is great. She takes an unbelievable plot and makes it interesting. Unfortunately, it has been overshadowed and overlooked due to the popularity of The Hunger Games. I do recommend The Underland... Read More
    Jan 24, 2012 by Agnes |  See all 8 posts
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